I’m sure you’ve heard it before but I’ll tell you again; a healthy diet is 80% of a healthy mind and body. It is the key to losing weight or building muscle, sustained energy, good sleep, and an overall good attitude.
No matter what your goals are, the only way to reach them is to track your diet and your progress. My personal favorite is an app by Under Armour called MyFitnessPal (click here for the website version) which tracks my calories per meal, calories burnt from exercise, and shows all my macro percentages – carbs, fats, and proteins – in a nice visual pie chart. The app also shows your weekly and monthly progress and allows you to switch up your daily macro goals and calorie intake goals, which a lot of apps don’t do. Some other good apps I’ve tried out are LifeSum, MyPlate, and 8fit, but MyFitnessPal is definitely the best option for me.
For my fitness goals right now, I have my daily calorie intake set at a maximum of 1,500 yet I rarely ever reach that. I mainly focus on reaching my macro percentages which are currently set at; 40% carbohydrates, 20% fats, and 40% protein. My calorie goal is set based on my height and weight and I have a pretty small appetite when it comes to consuming large portions of meals, so make sure that you set your goals according to your body type and not mine – every person is different! Just because you see some skinny girl on Instagram does not mean that the diet she follows will be beneficial to you. Consuming more calories than needed will obviously cause weight gain, but reducing your daily consumption of calories too much will also cause reverse effects. In fact, drastically cutting down on your daily calorie intake can make you put on weight as your body’s natural instinct is to store fat in a shortage of nutrients.
Always ensure that you’re keeping a balanced diet throughout your extreme diet phases. If you change too much too fast, your body will most likely react poorly to it by causing more bloating and/or digestion issues. Its also important because your body needs healthy fats and carbohydrates to survive; simply living off of protein shakes will counteract the results you’re going for. Good nutrition is necessary to fight fatigue and poor performance as well as diseases and infections.
One of the most important things about following a health diet is learning to be flexible. Don’t obsess over meeting your exact requirements every single day or else you won’t be able to enjoy your meals or your days at all! A lot of the times I can get cranky when I don’t let myself have a treat every now and then, so make sure you let yourself indulge in some healthy sweets when you’re craving them. If one day you don’t meet your goals, don’t beat yourself up for it. Just make sure that you compensate for it the next day – for example; if you’re over your calorie intake one day, eat less the next to or do more cardio. If you went over on your macro percentage for carbs one day, go over on protein the next day.
Along with flexibility, it’s crucial to make sure that you are listening to your body and how it reacts to your diet. Make sure that you are adapting your diet to your workout changes and in respect to how your body receives the different foods you’re consuming. Common reactions to diet changes can be bloating, digestion issues, and even breakouts – these are natural and common, however if they persist after a week, be sure to try something different!
LOTS. OF. WATER.
Hydration is imperative to a healthy diet, especially when paired with increased exercise. I like to keep a big gallon of water and aim to drink the entire jug by the end of the day. It’s a nice visual to have and it has great results for your skin, immune system, brain functioning, and overall health both long term and short term!
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Throughout my food posts, I’ll be posting healthy recipes, diet tips, and restaurant reviews during my travels! If you have any requests just let me know in the contact form or leave a comment below!